Some Windows 10 PCs, including the Microsoft Surface, come with Windows 10 in S Mode. Computers in S Mode can only install applications from the Microsoft Store. But you are free to leave S Mode whenever you want.
What is S Mode?
The Windows 10 in S Mode is a more restricted and locked Windows operating system. In S Mode, you can only install apps from the Store, and you can only browse the web with Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft promotes security, speed and stability. Because Windows can only run applications from the official Microsoft Store, malware circulating on the Internet cannot be installed and run. You can not install applications from the web, so you can not install tasks that slow down the startup process or junkware that hides in the background and spies on you.
S Mode also pushes the Bing search engine. While in S Mode, the Microsoft Edge web browser uses Bing as its default search engine. You can not change the default search engine by setting Google or anything else without first leaving S Mode.
Windows 10 in S Mode cannot use command line tools such as PowerShell, Command Prompt or Bash. You also do not have direct access to the Windows registry through the Registry Editor.
If all the apps you want to run are available in the Microsoft Store, S Mode is safer. This is why Microsoft first launched S Mode for schools. You can run Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Office, and anything else in the Store, including apps like Apple iTunes and Spotify.
It's a bit like Apple's iOS operating system on iPhone or iPad, which only lets you install apps from the App Store. By analogy, S Mode is limited to Windows applications available in the Microsoft Store.
The S Mode function is optional.
The S Mode feature in Windows 10 is optional. Most Windows 10 PCs come with standard Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Professional operating systems that allow you to run third-party software. Computers sold with S Mode should indicate whether they are using "Windows 10 Home in S Mode" or "Windows 10 Professional in S Mode".
Even if you buy a computer in S Mode, you can leave the S Mode mode for free. It does not cost anything, but it is a "one way" decision, because once you remove the computer from S Mode mode, you can never put it back. We do not know why Microsoft has done this one-way process.
How to check if you are using the S Mode mode or not.
You can check if you are using the S Mode function by going to Settings> System> Info. On the Info page, scroll down to the "Windows Specifications" section.
If you see the words "in S Mode" (or in S Mode, in English) to the right in the version entry, then you are using a computer with S Mode. If you do not see it, you are not in S Mode.
Should I buy a computer with S Mode?
Because it is easy and free to opt out of S Mode, there is no downside to buying a Windows 10 PC that comes with S Mode. If you do not want the S Mode mode, you can easily turn it off.
For example, Microsoft sells the Surface Laptop in S Mode mode. But if you want a Surface Laptop running a typical Windows operating system, you can just buy it and get it out of S Mode for free.
Should I use the computer in S Mode?
The S Mode mode limits the operating system and in some cases this may be what is required. If you only need a basic browser, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Office applications such as Word, and anything else in the Microsoft Store, you should try using your computer in S Mode mode. Restrictions on the S Mode function provide additional protection against malware. Microsoft still suggests that you have a virus protection program installed on computers running S Mode, and since there are none of the known programs in its store, it recommends that you use Windows Defender.
Computers running S Mode can also be ideal for new students, for business computers that only need a few applications, and for less experienced computer users.
Of course, if you need software that is not available in the Store, you must exit S Mode. However you can try using the computer for a while in S Mode to see how well it fits your needs. Remember that you can leave the S Mode mode at any time and in any state of your computer.
Remember: While you can leave S Mode whenever you want, your choice is a permanent decision. Once you leave the S Mode mode, you can not reset it again. After the change you will use a standard Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Professional operating system. However, you can still choose to allow applications only from the Store, as both Home and Pro allow you to do so, through Settings> Applications> Install Applications.
How to leave S Mode.
To exit S Mode, open the Microsft Store application on your computer and search for "Switch out of S Mode". The Store will guide you through the steps you need to take to exit S Mode.
What is the difference between S Mode and Windows 10 S?
Starting with the April 2018 update, Windows in S Mode replaced Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S worked in a similar way, but technically it was a separate "version" of Windows 10 instead of "S Mode" which is like a parameter of the existing version.
Most versions of Windows 10 can be installed in S Mode. You can buy Windows 10 Home computers in S Mode or Windows 10 Professional in S Mode, and companies can also use Windows 10 Enterprise in S Mode. However, only the computer manufacturer can set it to S Mode. Microsoft lets you leave Windows 10 S Mode at no extra charge, even though it used to plan a $ 50 charge to quit Windows 10 S.
Existing Windows 10 S computers will be converted to Windows 10 Professional in S Mode upon installation of the April 2018 update.